Austin Public Health COVID-19 Updates 6/7/2022

Headwaters School
Austin Public Health (APH) wanted to be sure we shared some updates with families. Check out this story to read more about vaccines, boosters, and free tests/respirators.
COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters
In the face of increasing COVID-19 cases locally, two new omicron subvariants that have been detected in Travis County, APH is urging everyone to get vaccinated and boosted. Boosters are critical as many are beginning to experience waning immunity. People who are at risk of serious illness should get up to date with COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. 

Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority, noted that, “These rising numbers and new subvariants are very concerning, especially at a time when many will be traveling and gathering with loved ones. We need everyone to get vaccinated and boosted, especially children who are now eligible for boosters.” She also noted that, “Masks also provide an extra layer of protection for yourself and others,” especially in some circumstances when social distancing isn’t possible.

As a reminder, children ages 5 through 11 are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster. The CDC recommends that children ages 5 and up get a booster at least five months after the final dose in the primary COVID-19 vaccine series to provide continued protection against COVID-19. Everyone 50 and older is eligible for a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster.  

Where to get Free Respirators, Tests, & Vaccines

Free N95 respirators – Check with your local pharmacy (H-E-B, CVS, Walgreens) about free N95 respirators. You can also use a feature on the CDC’s website to find a location offering free N95 masks near you.  

Free COVID-19 tests
 – APH encourages testing before and after gatherings, especially if you plan to be in close contact with individuals who are at risk. A third round of free mail-order COVID-19 test kits are available through the federal government. You can also pick up free rapid antigen tests at APH's Metz Elementary testing site.  

APH testing and vaccination information – Find vaccine providers using Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) or by texting your zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.   
     
APH clinics offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations without an appointment, although creating an account online in advance saves time. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and require neither identification nor insurance. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 or visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.     
   
The APH Mobile Vaccination Program brings vaccine clinics to businesses, churches and more. APH is asking all organizations to fill out an online form to request a pop-up clinic.

Heat Safety Tips

As you know, we will be experiencing severe hot weather this week, with temperatures as high as 105 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat index is the feel-like temperature that is produced by air temperature and relative humidity.

Please have staff, children, and families take the following precautions to stay healthy and safe in the heat this week and throughout the summer

Be aware of and watch for signs of heat illness when working or playing outside.  Do you know what to do? 

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